Half Past Fate Review (Switch)
Release Date: March 12, 2020
File Size: 2.0GB
Publisher: Way Down Deep
Developer: Serenity Forge
Click here to view on the Nintendo eShop.
Version Reviewed: 1.0.2
Love can be found anywhere, whether it’s at a coffee shop while you’re rushing to work, at your local park, or at a one-day tea festival. When tied in with fate, love can be a curious thing to ponder about. Are all love stories fated to be? Was that meeting with that special person just a coincidence, or was it fate? Half Past Fate plays with that idea and shows that perhaps some meetings do happen for a reason.
The story follows six individuals as they traverse obstacles in their lives and stumble their way into love. The game cycles through individual scenarios in their lives, with the player taking control of one of the six to resolve the problem in that particular chapter. Each chapter is filled with charming dialogue that builds up each character as the story progresses. While some characters are more developed than others, and some parts of the story can be cheesy, each arc is concluded in a way that wraps up cleanly towards the end.
What’s even more enjoyable are the references to other chapters within the game. While progressing, you’ll notice several characters from other chapters appear, making it a bit fun to figure out what happened when, and about “who knows who.” It really shows how wide the circle of friends can go, and how small the world can be at times.
Half Past Fate is an adventure game, with some very simple puzzles sprinkled in to help guide you through each chapter as they piece together the stories of three potential couples. However, you’ll find that most of your time will actually be spent reading instead of actually exploring around the first time. This is a game where the narrative and the characters are the focus first and foremost, but with the option to navigate between chapters after completion and an achievement system, you may find yourself going back to explore environments more closely after the fact.
The puzzles in the game are very simple, with the player needing to figure out how to fix other characters’ problems. This can mean bringing an item from one place to another, or speaking to a group of NPCs to get the full story of the problem in a particular chapter. Oftentimes, solving one problem will reveal the solution to the next, so clearing through chapters is not difficult.
The one downside of the game is the save system. While this Half Past Fate can easily be finished in a few hours, the save system can be a bit convoluted. The save functionality relies on finding a little white bunny that is placed somewhere in a chapter that needs to be clicked on in order for the game to save. However, saving will not save any progress made in the chapter, so you will start at the beginning of whatever chapter you last saved at. A bit cumbersome, but since chapters aren’t too long, it’s not too much of a hassle to get back progress that may have been lost.
Half Past Fate is a gorgeous pseudo-3D pixel art game that makes full use of its assets to convey the emotion of each scene. Not only are the character models full of life, with each character having several sprites, the environmental work is equally exceptional. Everyday locations that perhaps wouldn’t get a second glance in real life are breathtaking in this game. The attention to detail is definitely one of the high points here, making each chapter an experience in and of itself.
The soundtrack is just as enjoyable, appropriately setting the mood for each scene. Each track is upbeat and within a few minutes, they sink into the background naturally as each scene progresses. No track overshadows the scene that they are accompanying, and both the music and the visuals work together harmoniously.
Half Past Fate is an adventure game with simple puzzle aspects. While the gameplay may seem a bit lacking for those used to other indie adventure games, the story and visuals make up for the shortcomings. And even though the game is only a few hours long, the achievement system can keep things going for longer than that. The main deterrent at the end of the day is the save system. Manual saves have become somewhat of an anomaly in the indie scene, and the iteration provided here – finding bunnies that can be missed completely – certainly leads to some frustration. Nonetheless, Half Past Fate is a good game for those looking to unwind and watch several love stories unfold.